For Immediate Release:
Saturday, June 1, 2007
BUILDING ON HISTORIC ‘06 ELECTION AND PASSAGE OF CIVIL UNIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN REDOUBLES NEW HAMPSHIRE EFFORTS WITH AN EYE TOWARD PRIMARY SEASON
Expansion of Political Presence in State Focused on Continuing Momentum Toward Equality
WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality, has announced a myriad of political initiatives focused on redoubling the organization’s presence in New Hampshire in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential primary election. Building on the electoral work from 2006 that earned the Human Rights Campaign a ranking from The National Journal, a Washington-based publication focused on federal politics and policy, as the second most successful advocacy organization involved in the midterm elections, HRC has announced plans to further expand its outreach in New Hampshire — the crucial, first battleground state in the 2008 presidential election.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party state convention scheduled for this Saturday, June 2, will unofficially begin the intense national focus on New Hampshire’s unique “first-in-the-nation” primary status and the Human Rights Campaign will use this opportunity to have a major presence at the event to highlight the strategic vision the organization is developing for this critical election cycle.
“In the beginning of 2006, we took a leap of faith that has since created a seismic shift and replaced a state headed by politicians dedicated to going down a path of tired, worn-out divisive political discussions that pit neighbor against neighbor with leaders that are focused on continuing the values of fairness and equality inherent in the history of New Hampshire,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Because of the 2006 elections, this week Governor Lynch was able to sign a civil unions bill into law that recognizes the commitment of same-sex couples and creates an environment that welcomes presidential candidates into a refreshing discussion focused on moving our country closer to equality for all Americans. As we look toward 2008, HRC remains dedicated to helping empower the fair-minded people of New Hampshire to not only change their state but impact the national conversation as well.”
HRC’s extensive electoral work in New Hampshire during the 2006 elections, where its direct financial and staff support made it the largest financial contributor to the field efforts of eight key state Senate races, helped secure the current fair-minded majority in both the state House and Senate. As a result of HRC flexing its political muscle to change the dynamic of the New Hampshire state Legislature, the organization’s campaign in the state was chronicled in The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and other news outlets.
These hard-won electoral victories paved the way for the New Hampshire Legislature to pass a civil unions bill this year for same-sex couples that grants the same rights and benefits as marriage. HRC field staff were on the ground in New Hampshire and worked closely with state legislators, community groups and local leaders to pass the civil unions bill that Gov. John Lynch singed into law May 30. The law will become effective on Jan. 1, 2008.
HRC’s expansion of its reach in New Hampshire includes: